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[personal profile] cold_clarity
because when I should be taking care of responsibilities, I decide it's time to drabble.  and it's much closer to being an drabble, I promise (so...less like the things I usually post, which I call "drabbles"--but by which I really mean "unfinished bits of nothingness that are too long to be drabbles and too short to be stories HERE, HAVE A HOT MESS").

so yeah. here goes. written now with the promise to myself that I won't revise it when I finish.  so, enjoy some stream-of-consciousness-leaning scribble while I avoid packing.

Title: sibling rivalry
Rating: PG-13 for thematic...stuff
Warnings: incest (or the implications thereof)
Notes: harry potter fandom. in all truth, I probably wrote this because I've been mulling over my darkfest prompt.

She remembers best of all that Bella's breath smelled of cider and ginger (Bella and Andromeda had been stealing Christmas sweets from the kitchen, swilling mulled drinks by the hearth, and both had given her that look when she found them, the one that scared her into secrecy for fear of the consequences, a look Bella has perfected, sharpened, and made cruel).

Bella's breath smelled of cider and spice and she reached out a hand and dragged Narcissa close.

"Bloody hell, 'Cissy."  She squinted and laughed, her eyes glinting when she glanced back at Andromeda.  "Who cut that hair?  One of the house elves?  Tell mummy they made you look like a boy."

Andromeda snickered into her mug.  "An ugly boy."

And Narcissa wrenched away, eyes wide and stinging, Bella's nails catching and scraping against the skin of her arm.  "I do not."

"I'm afraid you do."  Bella swept her own sheet of dark hair over her shoulder and pursed her lips and looked altogether smug and hideous.

"No I don't."

"Stop being a baby about it."

Andromeda tittered again.  Bella's cool calm was maddening.  And Narcissa felt her throat close up as the tears came.

"I'm not a baby."

"You're acting quite like one."

It was in the grips of a furious sob, a vicious little shriek ripping from her mouth, that Narcissa kicked her older sister in her stupid older shin.  And then the world exploded in pain and black shards.  Narcissa staggered and blinked and her ear rang and rang.  When her world swam back into some semblance of focus, she knew it was too late.  Bella's cruel hand had her again, nails pinching skin, fingers clenched tight.  Dark eyes narrow, she jerked Narcissa close.  Narcissa felt the bottom of her stomach drop out.  Her tears turned into silent chokes.  The ringing keened high in her ear, and her face, her jaw, burned with pain.

"Kick me again," Bella hissed, "and I'll box your wretched little ears til they're bloody.  I promise."

"Bella--" Narcissa hiccoughed.

And she remembers, now, Bella's gaze.  She remembers how it consumed her, then, while childish terror filled her throat, her lungs, her chest, until she thought she might drown in the horror of everything that her older sister touched.

"Bella--I. I'm--"

"Shut up."  The back of a knuckle brushed over the burning place on her cheek.  Bella's exhalations made a cider-scented breeze against her lips, hot, and steady.  "Shut your stupid mouth."


Andromeda was standing and this (yes, Narcissa recalls this with a shudder that moves from deep inside) was the moment that everything broke.  Andromeda loosed her from Bella's hand and Bella sat back, her smirk returning.

"She's sorry, Bella."

"I know."

And Narcissa can't remember ever having felt so cold.
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